About the Program
The New Hampshire Health Care Association (NHHCA) recently received a $641,000 grant through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to recruit, assist and place upwards of 700 individuals in nursing homes across the state as Licensed Nursing Assistants (LNAs). Individuals can be trained in as little as three weeks for these critical healthcare roles and vacancies currently exist and are in high demand statewide. Training funds are available for those workers who have been displaced or are eligible for Medicaid and additional efforts are underway to cover training costs for all.
The campaign to attract individuals into this important field is called NH Needs Caregivers and is being developed through the grant. It includes helping interested individuals find a nursing home LNA position, enrolling them in training, assisting with and covering the cost of the training, and providing them with a $500 bonus after six months of being hired.
People can sign up online at NHNeedsCaregivers.org and will be notified as training opportunities are developed. A detailed database and website are being built to house all information on available jobs and training and will be launched within the month. Demand for such positions is high – in January of 2019, NH Labor Market Information reported there were 946 nursing assistant job postings.
“We’re in an unprecedented place right now in New Hampshire and across the country. While COVID-19 strains our healthcare systems and has displaced thousands of people locally, we’re hoping that more people will consider a career in caregiving to meet this massive need and challenge. That’s what the NH Needs Caregivers campaign is all about,” said Brendan Williams, president and CEO of the NHHCA.
The purpose of the NH Needs Caregivers! campaign is to increase the number of people who choose to start their healthcare career as a licensed nursing assistant (LNA) and to increase the retention of LNAs. Due to the funding source of this program, only 74 certified skilled nursing facilities in the state can participate in this grant. The program is designed to encourage 700 individuals to enter caregiver careers through a comprehensive marketing campaign. The campaign will promote free training, free testing and a $500 bonus when the LNA has worked six months in a skilled nursing facility. Funds will support a marketing campaign that includes videos that help people understand that being an LNA is a good job and see it as a stepping-tone in a health care career.
“These are rewarding careers for those who enjoy taking care of and helping people in need. With an aging population, we need these caregivers now and with the current rapid shifts in employment due to COVID-19, there is an opportunity to move people into careers that focus on both compassion and safety. We’re excited to roll out these efforts and connect people with the resources that enable them to enter this critical health care field,” said Roxie Severance, the contract administrator at NHHCA for the grant.
Data regarding the actual shortages is limited and a portion of the funds will be used for program evaluation, surveys and tracking participants through the process of signing up, obtaining their licensing and receiving their $500 bonus. This data will inform future efforts for hiring and retaining these critical employees.
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